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CVM AAR PART 3: THEIR FINEST HOUR (very long, but good!)

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CvM’s AAR Part 3: Our Finest Hour.

On May 8th, the HRMS Glorious and HRMS Nelson arrived off Bergen to support XX Corps. Meanwhile, the 1st Royal Battle Group, headed by the Powerful Battleships Royal Oak and Resolution steam to the straits of Jutland, looking again to catch the German High seas fleet off guard.



May 26th 1940:

In the early morning hours of May 26th the sounds of aircraft can be heard all throughout the Low Countries. The Low Countries of Belgium and Holland have done well to stay out of this bloody war so far. But this morning, all that they have worked for, has been wiped away by the sound of plane engines.

The German 10th Army launches its attack right across the center of the Low Countries, besieging Brussels and causing severe losses to its defenders. Luftflotte II follows up with massive air attacks on the Belgian Capital, however the RAF is there to greet them. Despite the Heroic efforts of her pilots, the RAF is driven off with heavy casualties. The defenders of Brussels just come up from their shelters when Luftflotte IV appears in the skies; they too are greeted by The FAF, which sustains moderate casualties. The glorious defenders of Brussels are down to their last men. Luftflotte I then takes it’s turn, now the Belgians are nothing but a shadow army, they are finished by the XVI Panzer Group, and on May 30th, Germans enter the city, Holland, surrenders the same day.

The XXII Panzer Group then attacks the French 1st army along the Belgian-Franco border, the attackers are temporarily rebuffed but will not wait here long.

With these events taking place, Churchill addresses the House of Commons, this time as Prime Minister of Britain; “On Friday evening last I received His Majesty's commission to form a new Administration. It as the evident wish and will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties, both those who supported the late Government and also the parties of the Opposition. I have completed the most important part of this task. A War Cabinet has been formed of five Members, representing, with the Opposition Liberals, the unity of the nation. The three party Leaders have agreed to serve, either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office. The three Fighting Services have been filled. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day, on account of the extreme urgency and rigour of events. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength." He concluded by saying. “"Poor people, poor people. They trust me, and I can give them nothing but disaster for quite a long time."

Meanwhile, in the artic wastelands of Norway, the 10th Army, under the Command of Feldmarschall Bock reinforce, preparing for the assault on the British held port of Bergen. Although the Battle of France has begun, the British have still not faced their German counterparts on the field of battle.

On June 1st, the British and French launch massive land and air attacks against the Spearhead of the German panzer army in Flanders. The Germans are bloodied, but the BEF and French armies are even bloodier. This is the only offensive action taken by The Allies. The situation is getting grimmer.

On June 2nd, the German 10th army attacks Bergen, they are given a bloody repulse at the hands of the British defenders, British press exploits this, trying to give some hope to it’s peoples.

On June 4 Luftflottes II and IV attack the weakened French 1st army, the army is crushed, Clearing the way for the XIX Panzer to rush through the gap. They attack the French airbases in Flanders, crippling the FAF. The BEF, and French 6th army, are now cutoff in the Flanders Pocket, the BEF, begins moving to the Port of Dunkirk. The German 8th and 14th armies attack the French 2nd army in the Ardennes under the cover of Luftflotte I, the French are routed, and the XVI Panzer races through. The Germans are now only 50 mile from Paris.

On June 19th, the FAF retreats to Bordeaux. The French attempt to relieve the French and British armies in Flanders. The BEF is backed into a smaller bridgehead, holding on just barley, as the beleaguered troops look out over the horizon, back at the cliffs of Dover, the see a magnificent site! Thousand of Ships coming to rescue them!

Meanwhile, the bulk of the German Panzer arm swarms around the southern flank of Paris, the city is now surrounded on three sides. This is where the French will make their stand. The French plea to the British to allow them to declare Paris an open city, but Churchill, in his famous bulldog manner states, “ Is our struggle, or cause not worth the Destruction of a view water-color paintings in your beloved city? No, you shall defend Paris to the Last Man!”

On the morning of July 14th, the Final phase of the Battle of France begins. Just before the Panzers press forth into the breach. They are sent a message: “ITALY DECLARES WAR ON BRITAIN AND FRANCE!” This was just too good.

The combined German Panzer arm assaults Paris, the defenders put up resistance, but not the best. It seemed that every time a Panzer or German soldier was in trouble all he had to do was run inside the Louvre and the French would stop firing. On July 17th, the Germans raised the Flag simultaneously on the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. Britain held its breath, would France, with one of the most respected and feared armies in the world capitulate?


They did.

At this time the Brits were unloading their last men from Dunkirk. Churchill addresses the House.

“When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in our long history. I thought-and some good judges agreed with me-that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be re-embarked. But it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the Amiens-Abbeville gap would be broken up in the open field or else would have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition. These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to prepare themselves a week ago. The whole root and core and brain of the British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and starving captivity. That was a week ago, but in that time, although we were able to get the main part of our army away, France surrendered. They have violated their alliance obligations to not surrender. However, we must not let this damper our resolve. I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

On the direct order of Churchill, the Royal Navy is recalled from Norwegian waters. Now, 400 years after the Spanish Armada, the Royal navy will defend their home against a hostile fleet intent on Invading Britain.

On July 28th, the USSR annexes the Baltic States. There is now no buffer between Russia and Germany. But, the world mustn’t worry about that. After all they have a peace treaty.

Churchill again addresses the House, this time on the looming battle for their Homeland.


”The disastrous military events which have happened during the past fortnight have not come to me with any sense of surprise. Indeed, I indicated a fortnight ago as clearly as I could to the House that the worst possibilities were open; and I made it perfectly clear then that whatever happened in France would make no difference to the resolve of Britain and the British Empire to fight on, '~f necessary for years, if necessary alone." During the last few days we have successfully brought off the great majority of the troops we had on the line of communication in France; and seven-eighths of the troops we have sent to France since the beginning of the war-that is to say, about 350,000 out of 400,000 men-are safely back in this country. Others are still fighting with the French, and fighting with considerable success in their local encounters against the enemy. We have also brought back a great mass of stores, rifles and munitions of all kinds which had been accumulated in France during the last nine months. Here is where we come to the Navy-and after all, we have a Navy. Some people seem to forget that we have a Navy. We must remind them. For the last thirty years I have been concerned in discussions about the possibilities of oversea invasion, and I took the responsibility on behalf of the Admiralty, at the beginning of the last war, of allowing all regular troops to be sent out of the country. That was a very serious step to take, because our Territorials had only just been called up and were quite untrained. Therefore, this Island was for several months particularly denuded of fighting troops. The Admiralty had confidence at that time in their ability to prevent a mass invasion even though at that time the Germans had a magnificent battle fleet in the proportion of 10 to 16, even though they were capable of fighting a general engagement every day and any day, whereas now they have only a couple of heavy ships worth speaking of-the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau. We are also told that the Italian Navy is to come out and gain sea superiority in these waters. If they seriously intend it, I shall only say that we shall be delighted to offer Signor Mussolini a free and safeguarded passage through the Strait of Gibraltar in order that he may play the part to which he aspires. There is a general curiosity in the British Fleet to find out whether the Italians are up to the level they were at in the last war or whether they have fallen off at all.

Therefore, it seems to me that as far as sea-borne invasion on a great scale is concerned, we are far more capable of meeting it today than we were at many periods in the last war and during the early months of this war, before our other troops were trained, and while the B.E.F. had proceeded abroad. Now, the Navy have never pretended to be able to prevent raids by bodies of 5,000 or 10,000 men flung suddenly across and thrown ashore at several points on the coast some dark night or foggy morning. The efficacy of sea power, especially under modern conditions, depends upon the invading force being of large size; It has to be of large size, in view of our military strength, to be of any use. If it is of large size, then the Navy have something they can find and meet and, as it were, bite on. Now, we must remember that even five divisions, however lightly equipped, would require 200 to 250 ships, and with modern air reconnaissance and photography it would not be easy to collect such an armada, marshal it, and conduct it across the sea without any powerful naval forces to escort it; and there would be very great possibilities, to put it mildly, that this armada would be intercepted long before it reached the coast, and all the men drowned in the sea or, at the worst blown to pieces with their equipment while they were trying to land. We also have a great system of minefields, recently strongly reinforced, through which we alone know the channels. If the enemy tries to sweep passages through these minefields, it will be the task of the Navy to destroy the mine-sweepers and any other forces employed to protect them. There should be no difficulty in this, owing to our great superiority at sea. In the defense of this Island the advantages to the defenders will be much greater than they were in the fighting around Dunkirk. We hope to improve on the rate of three or four to one which was realized at Dunkirk; and in addition all our injured machines and their crews which get down safely-and, surprisingly, a very great many injured machines and men do get down safely in modern air fighting-all of these will fall, in an attack upon these Islands, on friendly. Soil and live to fight another day; whereas all the injured enemy machines and their complements will be total losses as far as the war is concerned. There remains, of course, the danger of bombing attacks, which will certainly be made very soon upon us by the bomber forces of the enemy. It is true that the German bomber force is superior in numbers to ours; but we have a very large bomber force also, which we shall use to strike at military targets in Germany without intermission. I do not at all underrate the severity of the ordeal which lies before us; but I believe our countrymen will show themselves capable of standing up to it, like the brave men of Barcelona, and will be able to stand up to it, and carry on in spite of it, at least as well as any other people in the world. Much will depend upon this; every man and every woman will have the chance to show the finest qualities of their race, and render the highest service to their cause. For all of us, at this time, whatever our sphere, our station, our occupation or our duties, it will be a help to remember the famous lines: He nothing common did or mean, upon that memorable scene. I have thought it right upon this occasion to give the House and the country some indication of the solid, practical grounds upon which we base our inflexible resolve to continue the war. There are a good many people who say, "Never mind. Win or lose, sink or swim, better die than submit to tyranny-and such a tyranny." And I do not dissociate myself from them. But I can assure them that our professional advisers of the three Services unitedly advise that we should carry on the war, and that there are good and reasonable hopes of final victory.

We do not yet know what will happen in France or whether the French resistance will be prolonged, both in France and in the French Empire overseas. The French Government will be throwing away great opportunities and casting adrift their future if they do not continue the war in accordance with their Treaty obligations, from which we have not felt able to release them. The House will have read the historic declaration in which, at the desire of many Frenchmen-and of our own hearts-we have proclaimed our willingness at the darkest hour in French history to conclude a union of common citizenship in this struggle. However matters may go in France or with the French Government, or other French Governments, we in this Island and in the British Empire will never lose our sense of comradeship with the French people. If we are now called upon to endure what they have been suffering, we shall emulate their courage, and if final victory rewards our toils they shall share the gains, aye, and freedom shall be restored to all. We abate nothing of our just demands; not one jot or title do we recede. Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians have joined their causes to our own. All these shall be restored.

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."

For the next week and a half there is a strange lull in the Battle. The Luftwaffe rearms and prepares for the coming battle. Truly like Winnie said, The Battle of Britain was about to begin.



On July 31st the Luftwaffe began attacking shipping in the channel, looking to draw out the RAF. “This strategy isn’t working!” said a disgruntled Hitler to Goring. “What do you plan to do!?”

”We will attack them at their bases sir.”

On August 4th the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs of Dover was drowned out by the humming of plane engines as the Luftwaffe began to form up over Calais. The assault began as Stukas attacked the 11 Group aerodromes. By August 11 the RAF is at half Strength. The Luftwaffe pounds them day and Night. The RAF however remains a potent threat. Despite Goring’s boast that “They are down to their last 50 Spitfires” the still come up. A common saying radiates from many a nose cone in a Heinkel, “Look! Here comes those last 50 Spitfires!”

Meanwhile, in Norway, the XX corps has stood up to the 10th Army for 3 months now. However now, with the Fall of France, Germany has reinforced its attack. Debate in the War Cabinet rages. “Should we withdraw them? We will need them if the Germans do invade."

Churchill weighs in, "In the event of an imminent invasion, our Northern troops will be withdrawn. However, until that time, out forces will stand on Norwegian soil. They are a symbol to the world that we will not give up on any countries that have succumbed to Nazi tyranny. It is in Bergen that we shall make our stand!”

By August 14th the RAF is on its last legs. The Luftwaffe launches one Massive raid. The RAF scrambles ALL available aircraft. The battle rages all day. As twilight descends, the RAF counts their losses. 45 aircraft lost, 15 pilots lost. On the upside, the next morning, all across southern England, 200 German aircraft wreckage is found.

That afternoon, Churchill makes probably the most pivotal speech of his career.

“The great air battle which has been in progress over this Island for the last few weeks has recently attained a high intensity. It is too soon to attempt to assign limits either to its scale or to its duration. We must certainly expect that greater efforts will be made by the enemy than any he has so far put forth. Hostile air fields are still being developed in France and the Low Countries, and the movement of squadrons and material for attacking us is still proceeding. It is quite plain that Herr Hitler could not admit defeat in his air attack on Great Britain without sustaining most serious injury. If after all his boastings and bloodcurdling threats and lurid accounts trumpeted round the world of the damage he has inflicted, of the vast numbers of our Air Force he has shot down, so he says, with so little loss to himself; if after tales of the panic-stricken British crushed in their holes cursing the plutocratic Parliament which has led them to such a plight-if after all this his whole air onslaught were forced after a while tamely to peter out, the Fuhrer's reputation for veracity of statement might be seriously impugned. We may be sure, therefore, that he will continue as long as he has the strength to do so, and as long as any preoccupations he may have in respect of the Russian Air Force allow him to do so. Presently we learned that anxiety was also felt in the United States about the air and naval defense of their Atlantic seaboard, and President Roosevelt has recently made it clear that he would like to discuss with us, and with the Dominion of Canada and with Newfoundland, the development of American naval and air facilities in Newfoundland and in the West Indies. There is, of course, no question of any transference of sovereignty-that has never been suggested-or of any action being taken without the consent or against the wishes of the various Colonies concerned; but for our part, His Majesty's Government are entirely willing to accord defense facilities to the United States on a 99 years' leasehold basis, and we feel sure that our interests no less than theirs, and the interests of the Colonies themselves and of Canada and Newfoundland, will be served thereby. These are important steps. Undoubtedly this process means that these two great organizations of the English-speaking democracies, the British Empire and the United States, will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affairs for mutual and general one can stop it. Like the Mississippi, it just keeps rolling alone. Let it roll. Let it roll on full flood, view the process with any misgivings. I could not stop it if I wished; no one can stop it. Like the Mississippi, it just keeps rolling alone. Let it roll. Let it roll on full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant, to broader lands and better days.

By August 24 both sides have sustained heavy casualties, 1 of the two fighter groups of Britain has been destroyed. But what really matters is: The RAF is still a threat to any attempted sea-borne invasion. The German High command decides on a new strategy. On September 1st, the Luftwaffe launched its renewed offensive, this time however; it is not aimed at the RAF airfields, but at the Capital of the British Empire itself. London!

The attacks last for 2 weeks, with no side achieving any clear victory. The German has formed up at the various ports in France, just waiting for the signal to ‘GO!’ Then, on September 14th the Luftwaffe launches its final attack on England, this attack will crush the RAF, or so Goring says. The battle, which lasts all day yields tremendous casualties for the RAF, their effectiveness as a fighting force, is gone. The Germans rejoice. However, they have made one fatal mistake. It is now late September, no one, in their right mind would invade via the Channel at this time of year. The RAF, has saved Britain, they have stalled the Germans to the point where they can no longer attack. Not to mention inflict heavy casualties on Goring’s Pilots.

Britain, for at least the Time being, would continue to exist as an Independent Nation.



Now that the immediate threat of invasion has been dealt with, the Royal Navy takes advantage of their opportunity to go on the offensive. Under Orders from Winnie, the Royal Navy sets a trap for the Italian Fleet. The Battleship Valiant sails from the straits of Gibraltar to Malta. Using the Battleship as bait, the Bulk of the Royal Mediterranean fleet will wait off the coast of Greece and Crete. When the Italians go after the BB at Malta, the rest of the fleet will hit the Italians from the rear. Thus, hopefully securing the Mediterranean for future offensive actions.


Meanwhile, the 10th army, but this time under the Cover of the Luftwaffe attacks the XX corps, whose struggle has come to epitomize the British Resistance! They are now down to half their original strength. Talks resume in the War Cabinet to whether or not that the bloodied corps should be withdrawn. A date is set, on December 24; the XX corps will be withdrawn to England. They need the experienced troops to fight the Germans elsewhere.

The Italians take the bait. The Cruiser Fiume attacks the Valiant in Valetta, but is repulsed. The rest of the Italian fleet follows. The trap is sprung. The Warspite, Gloucester, and Ark Royal all attack the flotilla headed by the Italian Battleship Ciao Dullio. It is severely damaged, but the battle continues. The Italian fleet withdraws, but with the British in Pursuit. On November 24th, aircraft sank both Fiume and Ciao Dullio from the Ark Royal. The British then withdraw to Alexandria. Although this engagement was not necessarily decisive, put the RN in a good position to dominate the Atlantic.

On December 8th, Churchill is awaked at 4 am and is delivered an alarming message. ROMANIA HAS JOINED THE AXIS! “May God help the Romanians” said Churchill, “and may they regret what they have done.”

A new danger has arisen for Britain, they have temporarily lost track of German military Units. Where will they strike next? Also, British ships are being sunk in the Atlantic. Apparently some U-boats slipped through. The RN must rise to this challenge.

On December 24th, Christmas day, 1940, the XX Corps departed from Bergen, destroying the city before they went. As the Norwegian coast slipped beyond the Horizon, the British soldier let out a sigh of relief for now at least, they had survived.

Britain Had survived. But would it see next Christmas?



[ November 03, 2002, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Carl Von Mannerheim ]

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Same here -- highly enjoyable.

There was a documentary series aired in the U.S. a few years before Churchill's death called, I believe, "The Valliant Years." The narration was either written by Churchill or some using his style and was narrated by Richard Burton in an excellent imitation of Churchill, who was very, very old at the time. I'm not sure if it's commercially available anywhere but if you come across it, assuming you haven't, I think you'd find it very enjoyable. The footage was also great. Should you happen to have info on it please let me know as I'd like to see it again, this time a bit older.

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Thank you both. Sorry John, I have not yet seen that series you speak of. However, I have seen the 2 part film, Then There Were Giants. Its about the Big 3 during the war. It is very good. John Lithgow plays FDR, Michael Cain as Joesef Stalin, and Bob Hoskins as Churchill. It came out in 1994. Maybe that will help.


- Edit, i just updated all of my older installments. Go check them out and post all feedback on this thread.

[ November 01, 2002, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Carl Von Mannerheim ]

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Yes, a really great film and everyone played their roles perfectly.

There was another HBO drama on Churchill at the outbreak of war, no doubt you've also seen it, liked that very much as well, especially where he's bickering with his man's man about consuming too much of the "house brandy."

Another very good one, HBO, is "Conspiracy" with Kenneth Baunaugh portraying Reinhard Heydrich and Stanley Tucci as Adolf Eichmann conducting the Wansee meeting.

There was an idiosynchratic thing on Hitler presumably in Hell dictating his final memoirs to an SS man. Except, of course, he doesn't know that's where he is. Can't remember the name, but I enjoyed it even though it's about the screwiest thing imaginable.

Anyway, looking forward with equal eagerness to either the struggle of the Brits here, or your Winnie/Stalin entries for the French. Glad Rick is taking the Americans, that ought to be a hoot.

[ November 03, 2002, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I believe the Hitler Movie you are referring to it entitled "Looking into the empty Mirror" or something like that. My experience with that film was odd. I woke up one morning for some reason before my alarm sounded. About an Hour before (this is odd because it was a schoolday). I turned on the TV in my room, which happened to be on HBO, and it immediatly shows the screen where you gives the (AL) - adult language etc.

As i always do i decided to wait and see what this movie was. I was shocked in the opening scene to hear Hitler's voice going on. Needless to say, i loved that movie.


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This sort of blow by blow account with photos and maps and all is much more enjoyable than the usual bickering and in-fighing that was happening in these forums.

You're right about the Hiler movie "Broken Mirror" or "Looking in the Broken Mirror?" It was like something Franz Kafka would have written. The actors were all great in a surrealistic sort of way and I especially enjoyed Hitler strangling Goering in his full uniform! The voice of Hitler justifying his life rang true, I could imagine him bringing up the points that were mentioned "-- If I'd have stopped after the Victory in France . . .. etc"

[ November 03, 2002, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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As originally posted by Zeres:

I agree John...Carl saved this board!

I am sure that CvM has done many interesting things in his brief and exuberant life; however, saving the forum is probably not one of them. ;)

I would like to commend all three active participants in this, these lively and quite creative role playing WW2 adventures. The writing is superb, and many of the pictures a pleasure to see. :cool:

Some enjoy this kind of thing; others are less interested.

Some forums provide a separate stage, so to speak, but here, so far, we are privileged to enjoy such inspired and creative endeavors without searching over hill & dale and around and about.

I suppose it is akin to almost anything else; each has a skill, and each has a preferred Gestalt.

When the Artist breaks through my perception (... who else's should you or I have?), then I am thrilled. IMHO, alas it is true, in this day and age, that is become very much rarer. A startling trueness of collective insight, deftly rendered, I mean.

However, the SC forum does offer OTHER items of interest, very few of which have culminated in untold or untoward bickering and various sorts of freewheeling ill-will.

For instance:

There are historical perspectives, some of which are preposterous, some of which are fanciful, but most of which I have found most interesting to read and consider.

There are issues of game mechanics.

There are strategies acclaimed as tried and true and more than one, or a few, denounced and scoffed over.

There are speculations as to future changes, and musings as to possible mods.

There are (... and this is my very own favorite! smile.gif ) mindless banter and off-topic whims & fancies, that only adds technicolor and some relief from what is, arguably, a bleak area for general discussion, what with all the techno-outrageous bloodlet & mayhem unleashed by ALL participants.

And, the occasional joke I have enjoyed, and the idle reveries occasionally eliciting outright guffaws!! :cool:

Not to mention the honest and communal exchanges of pleasantries. A brotherliness, sort of.

The bravado and machismo?

Well, gee whiz, please tell me of any place you have been, in however long you have lived, wherein more than several males (... I AM absolutely certain that there are many, many females who enjoy SC as well, but, ahem, allow me, here I make a general point) have gathered -- in anyone's name or their incredibly short fame, and continually and lovingly got -- swelly! along.

I know of no such place, and I am old enough to remember when hula hoops first came out (... myself, I kind of liked that Davey Crocket cap; anyway old snapshots suggest this... ).


CvM is an enthusiastic and inventive player on the board. But, out & out -- saved it?

... Nah. ;)

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